Here you are, or at some point, you have been in a romantic partnership. You have issues. Everyone does. Whether your problems are based on who does more housework, or you not being supportive of your partner going back to school, issues are always going to be there. However, if you dig deep enough, and analyze these matters, they aren't always about this dichotomy.
In an argument with Mr. Right Now, our disputes always resolve around the same thing. Every time. But this is not all about him and me. In the room (or car, or grocery store, or hiking trail,) there is my family, and his. What I mean by this, is that "our" quarrels are mostly a result of the family issues we had, have, and are working on.
As an example, let's just say you are dating someone who has brains, but his noggin was never recognized. He wants to prove himself, and in order to do that, he puts you down. So, his parents belittled him, making him feel incompetent, and because of this, he corrects you constantly. Now he feels better about himself. And now, you feel like crap. You feel this way as a result of his parents never giving him the confidence he needed, which you are not used to. Your relationship gets too crowded and perplexing. Right now, you have your boyfriend and his parents and their condescending behavior towards him all coming down on you.
I don't know anyone who hasn't had some sort of turning point in their life. Every one of my friends has had something - the loss of a sibling, rehab, divorce, becoming estranged from family members, alcoholism, illnesses, etc. We all go through hard times. But when entering a relationship, these hardships become the baggage that is brought into the romance - like it or not.
Watching an episode on DVD of "This American Life" recently, (yes, they actually make a television program of it), a woman pointed something out, that is forever implanted in my head, about her relationship with her boyfriend. She said that your issues come out when you are dating someone. Now isn't that the truth? These tribulations that we all have are enlarged and in turn, we are forced to look at them dead on.
My battles vary from being fearful of getting married and "settling" to identifying with a religion. I wasn't just born with this. I didn't wake up one day and start freaking out about the concept of marrying someone, and spending the rest of my life with them. These stem from my experiences, and are brought to my attention specifically when I am dating, especially because I am very vocal about my opinions (in other words, I am opinionated).
I'll be the first one to admit that I am a serial monogamist. So, I never get a break from my issues... From what I have seen, you have to keep in mind that their family history will become your baggage. What I mean by this, is that most of their problems have evolved from their upbringing. It can get pretty congested between the two of you....